Favorite Books of January 2017

Well, I started the year off reading a LOT of books – and I can’t really tell you where I fit them in as it feels like I’ve been reading less than normal.  I guess a few of them were shorter, but still . . .  HERE is the complete list and below are short reviews of my favorites. NON-FICTION So I have to admit I picked this book up from the library simply because The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) wasn’t available at the library and this one was.  Regardless, I really liked it.  I loved the Miracle Morning “formula” and have the original book on hold.  I found some very useful tips as well as some good encouragement to making the most of my mornings.  My rating 4.5 out of 5. Not only did I get a kick out of this book, I also got some good tips.  One of my favorites is to put something away immediately when you are de-cluttering – don’t place it in a pile to put away later because if you get interrupted in the middle of the project you’ll have a bigger mess and have accomplished nothing.  SO.TRUE.  That happens to me all the time – and yes, it takes longer to get up and go put something away, but at least when I stop midway through I have still done something.  Love it!  My rating 4 out of 5. FICTION This book kept me up almost all night finishing it.  I started mid-afternoon and finished it late that evening.  I loved the way the...

Goals 2017: Faith and Finances

Time for my last three categories of goals.  These three focus around faith and finances.   In case you missed it, last week I shared my goals for health and wellness and the week before relationships.  The finance goals are a bit more challenging for me as it’s not an area I’m terribly interested in, yet I KNOW I need to pay attention and get my finances in order.  Anyone else feel the same way?  So let’s start with faith since it’s much easier.  Faith.  Why?  For me, my faith is something I want to be the center of my life.  I want my faith to be reflected in how I live, the decisions I make and how I treat others.  So, it only makes sense to focus on it, right?  How? Daily devotions (right now I’m working through Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are and like all of Shauna Niequist’s works, I LOVE it), get my family to church regularly, meet with my small group weekly and make sure to give thanks daily for my many blessings. Finances.  Why? I’m getting to that age where I need to be seriously thinking about paying for college, retirement, etc.  I haven’t exactly ignored our finances, but I’m not as on top of them as I could/should be.  How?  Gather all the financial info and decide if each area is in the best shape it could be – if not, make appropriate adjustments; figure out where I’d like to be in ten years; make a plan to get there; execute the plan. Day Job.  Why?   I spend a lot of hours...
Goals 2017:  Health and Wellness

Goals 2017: Health and Wellness

Last week I shared my relationship goals – goals that included others.  This week I’ll be sharing my health and wellness goals – so the goals that really just include me!  I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of you have set health and wellness goals – probably more than once.  When I think of health and wellness I don’t think of just exercise and eating right – there are other aspects of personal wellness that I believe are just as important.  Hopefully a little insight into how I look at them will inspire you to think about your health and wellness goals in a different light. I think the most important aspect of a successful health and wellness goal is that it has to be exciting for you.  Say one of your goals is to get in better shape or to exercise consistently.  If you hate running, then by all means, don’t set yourself a goal of running a 5k.  It’s only going to piss you off every time you get on the treadmill – if you even continue to get on the treadmill!  Instead, think about what types of exercise would be fun for you and set a goal to do THAT consistently.  You are much more likely to succeed if you aren’t dreading the work involved in reaching a goal.  Healthy Living.  Why?  Losing weight or looking a certain way isn’t as important to me as feeling great.  Especially as I’ve struggled with not having the energy I desire in the past.  That means that being at my optimum health is super important to me –...

Goals 2017: Relationships

As I mentioned last week, this year I have a few very specific goals in each of the important areas of my life.  Goals I’ll be concentrating on and reviewing each quarter.  I’ve outlined nine areas, so I’ll cover three each week for the rest of the month.  I know many of us are hammering out our plans and goals for the year so hopefully this will spark some excitement or give you some good ideas on how to achieve the ones you’ve set. The first three goals are ones I believe ALL of us busy moms feel are important – they all center around relationships.  Now your relationship areas might be different than mine, but I’d be willing to bet you have some relationships in your life that are important to you and that you’d like to keep in mind and keep growing as 2017 unfolds. Spouse.  Why?  Pretty obvious I think, but especially now as our kids are in such a busy time of life – it’s very easy to get caught up in the “divide and conquer” method of parenting.  Efficient, yes, but also isolating.  So in 2017 I want to be intentional about making time for my spouse and not letting the busyness of this season take over.  How?  Weekly date nights, walking the dog together, making sure to talk for 10 – 15 minutes each evening (at a minimum and not about scheduling), and also Monday morning planning sessions to figure out who is doing what – that way that topic will hopefully not take over the other time we spend together.  Also at...

Ready for the New Year?

What do you do to get ready for the New year?  Do you set resolutions?  Create goals?  Pick a word or a feeling you want to embody for the year?  I’ve done all of these and more each year and I’ve found some years to be more successful than others. Throughout my years of experimentation, I have found two things that have been crucial to a successful year – regardless of how I plan for the year.  Ready for the secrets? Tie whatever you plan to do to your values.  A few years ago I went into depth on this topic (check out the post HERE), but the gist of it is to make sure your goals align with your values.  If they don’t, you will be hard pressed to follow through because you’ll always be feeling uneasy about your plans for the year. If you aren’t excited about it, you won’t succeed. No matter how detailed or specific your goals or resolutions are, if you aren’t really jazzed about them, it’s going to be very hard to actually take the action steps needed to succeed.  So don’t bother creating goals you feel like you “should” do, create ones you can’t wait to get started on.  Even if they don’t make a lot of sense right now, excitement and the energy that goes along with it will take you a lot farther than a detailed plan of ho hum steps. I’ve decided this year to go back to the basics and come up with a list of 3 or 4 BIG goals for each area of importance in my...
My Favorite Books from December 2016

My Favorite Books from December 2016

It was a busy month of school concerts, plays, Christmas parties, swim meets and all kinds of other fun, so I didn’t read as much as I’d hoped.  However I can’t regret a minute of the fun we had this month!  HERE is the link to everything I read this month, and below are short reviews of my favorites: FICTION I really enjoyed this lovely story of a woman who hasn’t been making the most of her life discovering the hidden life of a woman who recently died.  What she learns helps her re-think her life choices – in the best possible ways.  Nice, uplifting book.  My rating 4 out of 5. Gifted teenage musician Zoe is about to perform again after a three year hiatus.  She was involved in a horrific accident that left 3 of her classmates dead.  After a disturbance at the concert and a stressful evening at home, her mother ends up dead.  As Zoe well knows, nothing is simple or clear when it comes to situations like this.  My rating 4 out of 5. NON-FICTION Although I didn’t love this the way I loved Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, this was still a wonderful book – full of wisdom and truth.  A must read for anyone looking to change the way they think about their life.  My rating 4.5 out of 5. Did you read anything fantastic this month?  I’m on the lookout for some more recommendations, so please share! There has to be a way for you to enjoy your life instead of rushing through it....
2016 Christmas Round-Up

2016 Christmas Round-Up

Wow!  I can’t believe Christmas is a few days away!!!!  Are you ready?  I’ve got all the presents wrapped and the Christmas Eve menu planned so I think I’m good to go.  The kids have a few more days of school, and then they are off for two weeks.  YEAH!!! Need a little help and inspiration?  Here are some of my favorite holiday posts – both mine and others.  Enjoy! Healthy Tips: Healthy Holidays Game Plan 5 Quick Healthy Holiday Tips:  Replay Enjoy the Holidays: Make the Season Special Great stocking stuffer ideas from Modern Mrs. Darcy Spread some Christmas Cheer Your elf didn’t move?  Here are some reasons! Any great last minute tips?  Please share your favorites while we all still have a few days! If you’re new here, welcome, I’m Pam and I’m a coach for busy working moms who love their kids, but feel tired, stressed out and overwhelmed.  They want to do it all but can’t find enough hours in the day.  I help them balance family, health and work so that they can go to sleep each night feeling fulfilled and guilt-free.  Interested in learning more?  Check out ways I can help you HERE!...

Make the Most of Every Day

I’ve spent the last month hard at work creating a brand new program to address the biggest issue my clients face – making the most of each day.  Too many of my clients are so busy between work and family life that they ignore their health and happiness.  That’s a CRIME!  We only live once and it’s my desire to see busy working moms enjoying the life they live, not just “pushing through until they find a chance to breathe.”  Or “waiting for the weekend.”  Or “when things die down.” Because, guess what?  That day may never come. So why wait until later to enjoy your life?  This new program was designed to help busy working moms start enjoying their life NOW.  As in this week!  What a perfect gift to yourself. Check out the details...

Create a Special Day

Feeling a bit overwhelmed lately?  Too busy to have fun or enjoy yourself?  Then this is exactly when you need to create a special day.  There are three steps to the process – all of which are fun and will immediately improve your mood. Look at your calendar and pick a date you can take a few hours away from everything that SHOULD be done.  Ideally take a whole day off.  If your life is anything like mine, this date might be a few weeks from now, but you CAN make the time.  Block it off on your calendar and if anything comes up, simply say “Sorry, but I can’t do XXX on that date, I already have something scheduled.” Now spend some time between your chosen date and today dreaming. What do you enjoy?  What fuels your soul?  Grab a notebook or open a folder on your phone and jot down your ideas.  Need some inspiration?  How about time in a coffee shop reading?  Browsing stores?  Taking a long and relaxing bath?  Going for a walk in the woods?  A lovely lunch alone or with a friend?  A movie?  Working on a hobby you love but can never get to?  Once you have your list, think realistically about how much time you have blocked off and pick a few things.  This planning time can be almost as fun as the actual day!!! Enjoy your special day. The great thing about this day is that it’s tailored just for you – it’s full of things you love and enjoy.  By the end of the day you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to plunge back into the...
November 2016 Book Reviews

November 2016 Book Reviews

Well, this turned out to be the month for psychological thrillers.  Some real intense reading.  HERE is a list of everything I read last month, and below are short reviews of my favorites: This was a crazy story.  Flora was kidnapped seven years ago and then rescued after 472 days.  Needless to say, she has some emotional scars and issues.  Now, she is missing again.  Along with several other younger women – closer to the age she was when she disappeared.  Is Flora involved?  How?  Is she safe?  The book goes back and forth between present day and during the time Flora was held captive.  Very intense.  My rating 4 out of 5. What a fun book.  Each year, there is “a dress” of the season.  The book follows nine different women and their stories involving the dress of the year.  Some are sweet, some are not.  It seems like this would be confusing – so many “main” characters, but somehow the author makes it work.  My rating 4 out of 5. Have to admit I loved this book.  I’m anxiously awaiting the next one to become available at the library.  It was a slow start – I had to make myself keep reading until I was about a third of the way through, then it just took off and I enjoyed it immensely.  Put together a mysterious island, some scary monsters, things that don’t seem possible and some creepy children and you get quite a tale!  I definitely need to see how they made this into a movie.  My rating 5 out of 5. What has been your favorite book...

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